How To Clean Mildew Out Of Washer: 2 Best Ways For Home DIY

Did you encounter mildew growing in your washer? Do you know how to clean mildew out of washer?

Can a machine used for cleaning your clothes and fabrics grow mildew? Yes, it can, as long as the conditions are met.

how to clean mildew out of washer

To know more, continue reading. This article is dedicated to letting you know how the removal of mildew from the washer can be done and what ways to help you prevent mildew growth. 


Defining Mildew

Mildew and mold are two different words that are often used interchangeably. But are they the same?

No, they aren’t, but the confusion was understandable since both have lots of similarities. Both are a type of household fungi that grow in a wet and humid environment. 

See this article to learn more about the differences between mold and mildew

For now, let’s study mildew further. 

Mildews’ appearance was typically powdery or fluffy patches of white to gray. It also grows on the surfaces of items and can’t penetrate deeper than that.

At best, mildew can spoil the food it grows on; as for other items, at most, it would only leave a stain but wouldn’t damage them deeply. As for people who inhaled these spores, you could get some headaches, coughs, or trouble breathing, but it could get worse if the exposure is too long.


Identifying Mildew In The Washer

A washer or washing machine can easily accumulate dirt. With the closed cover that entraps moisture, bacteria or fungus can grow there.

It wouldn’t often be visible, but you can pinpoint it with your sense of smell. It can smell like soiled wet socks, rotten wood, or rotten eggs.

This scent can stick to your clothes and fabric. It would smell unpleasant even after washing repeatedly, so immediately clean your washer.

If you find yourself in a situation where your clothes have an unpleasant odor, this article may help you figure out how to get rid of mildew smell out of laundry.


Ways To Clean Mildew Out Of The Washer

Mildew is far easier to clean than mold, but that does not mean that you shouldn’t take this seriously. 

Let’s first identify the 2 kinds of washing machines which are top-load and front-load washers. Top-load washers are loaded from the top, while front-load washers have their door on the side.

Here’s an article to know more about the types of washing machines.


Method #1. Front-loading washer

Follow these step-by-step instructions to remove the unpleasant mildew from your front-load washer:

Step #1. Clean the gasket with a rag. You can use warm, sudsy water or a mildew cleaner, with your rag, wipe every nook and cranny of the gasket.

Step #2. Remove the dispensers for detergents and scrub them thoroughly.

Step #3. Start an empty wash cycle on the hottest water setting. Don’t forget to add a mildew removal solution that you can choose from below:

  • ¼ cup of lemon juice, ½ cup distilled white vinegar, and 2 cups of water
  • 4 cups of water and 1 cup vinegar

Step #4. Repeat step three, now for a longer duration.

Step #5. Allow the insides to dry thoroughly by leaving the lid open.

Step #6. If the unpleasant smell persists, then it could be mold growing there. For this, you can call for help from a professional.


Method #2. Top-loading washer

As for the top-load washer, see the following instructions to remove mildew:

Step #1. Set the washer to its hottest setting, then add 4 cups of white vinegar. Let it run for a few minutes before stopping it and letting the water with vinegar sit inside for an hour.

Step #2. While waiting, spray water with vinegar solution on a sponge. Use this soak sponge to rub the lid, sides, and every corner, even if there’s no visible mildew growth, before finally wiping with water-soaked fabric.

Step #3. After the first cycle with water and vinegar, start the second cycle and mix a cup of baking soda with the water; the baking soda can also eliminate the pungent smell of vinegar. Let it run normally.

Step #4. After all of the cycles have been completed and the water has been thoroughly drained, leave the lid open to allow the moisture to dry completely.

For additional information, you can see this article about why does my washer smell like mildew.


Mildew Prevention On Washer

Cleaning mildew takes effort and time. If you want to prevent this, then you’ll have to go the extra mile and apply this simple advice to your washer as often as you can:

  1. Open the lids when not in use. So that the inside of the washer can be properly ventilated.
  2. When you choose the time to use the washer, pay attention to it so that you can immediately take out your clothes after the timer goes off.
  3. After using the washer, be sure to wipe the moisture away from every part.
  4. Regularly check your washers.
  5. Make sure that it’s not only dry but also clean. Remove any paper or dirt left behind.
  6. Use the proper detergent.
  7. Keeping a dehumidifier in your laundry room could also help maintain control of humidity.



Knowing how to clean mildew out of washer can be very helpful for unexpected cases or even if you’re already encountering mildew growth.

Washing machines are used for cleaning your clothes and fabrics, but you should know that they also need some cleaning at least every few months. You would want to check every part of it to be sure that no mildew or mold is growing.

Leave a Comment